Guidelines for the organisation of the Women’s Committee Session at the EHS Annual Conference

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The Women’s Committee sponsors a session at the EHS Annual Conference, subject to the approval of the Conference committee.

The session must be proposed by the chair of the Women’s Committee. The deadline for submissions is early September for the March/April conference. (Check the exact date as it can change.) The submission must be clearly marked as ‘Women’s Committee Session’ and, if accepted, must be marked as such on the conference programme as well. The Chair needs to check that this has been done.

The session can be organised to promote women’s history, feminist perspectives, women’s careers in economic history or any combination thereof. Male speakers are not excluded, but it would be preferable to find female speakers and/or women’s history or feminist perspectives. Male speakers who study women’s history and/or have a feminist approach would be acceptable. The session organiser may decide to ask early career women to speak as this is one way of assisting them with their career. The proposed paper must be comparable in quality to other conference sessions.

The session organiser must have the submission ready to send to the chair before the submission deadline. It is better to have some leeway in case rewriting is needed. It is also a good idea for the organiser to discuss the content and list of speakers with the chair in advance. Ideally potential organisers are found at Women’s Committee meetings and the topic is agreed upon by the committee. As the conference committee is not obliged to accept the session, the more time available for planning, the better.

The session organiser should consider inviting women speakers who have not been to the EHS conference before. It is not necessary for them to be economic historians. The session is an opportunity to bring more women into the society.


The EHS’s publicist is Romesh Vaitiligam. He is keen to promote the EHS conference to the media. Speakers should be encouraged to write a press release for their paper. Romesh’s guidelines (edited version):

A press release should not be the abstract of a scholarly paper. It should be no longer than 600 words and ideally printed on two sides of a single sheet of paper. At the end, you should list your contact details: numbers, your email address, and your website if it is possible to get further details on the work from there.

Begin with a catchy headline and general statement that sums up the main finding.
Distil into three or four points the essence of your research.
Back up these points with facts and figures.
Add a conclusion that outlines the main policy implications or the ‘way forward’.
Try to be concrete and specific.
Use clear and concise English.
Don’t qualify or hedge your results any more than is necessary.

Remember that you should work from ‘top to bottom’. Start with the most important and interesting points and work your way down. If you took away all the paragraphs except the first, the press release should still make sense. For press releases, you should, in effect, think how to turn your writing upside down. One of the most effective ways to do this is to imagine that you are explaining your work to someone who isn’t familiar with either the technical aspects or ‘the literature’ of your discipline.